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Death Knight Guide - Proving Yourself: Endless Damage (Wave 30+)

Death Knight Guide Endless Damage Proving Grounds Devizz

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#1 Devizz


    Glass Joe

  • • Former Guide Author/Contributor
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Posted 14 March 2014 - 04:32 AM

 1. Introduction
 2. Talent Build & Glyphs 
 3. Stat Priority 
 4. Best in Slot (Gems & Enchants included)
 5. Reforging 
 6. Play Style 


First and foremost, this is not a DPS guide meant for inexperienced death knight players who lack the most basic knowledge about their class. This guide assumes, that you possess some kind of theoretical knowledge about death knight class and that you simply struggle with completion of the proving grounds scenario. If that is not the case, then I advise you to make yourself familiar with Mendenbarr's guide over at Elitist Jerks and only after doing so, come back here. 
With that behind us, I would like to note that this guide can also help you with the preparation process for challenge modes (though only stat wise, as for the specific encounter tactics themselves, you will have to check another, more appropriate guides).
2.1 As for the specialization itself, you could either go Frost or Unholy (duh) but dual wield spec is not viable for proving grounds (I suppose that you could get a decent score with it but 2h is much better performance wise*). This guide will assume that you went for Frost specialization but BiS list will mostly not change if you decide to go for Unholy instead (you can also be rather successful while playing in an unholy spec, especially after the recent January hotfix - one of the best world scores on proving grounds belongs to Raegwyn, who achieved his remarkable result with the unholy spec).
* - not necessarily for challenge modes where AoE is much more important than burst damage.
2.2 Moving onto specific talents, below you can see the most useful choices for proving grounds:
57 Irrelevant 
60 Irrelevant 
For the first tier of talents, Plague Leech is undeniably superior to Unholy Blight.
Second tier is Irrelvant and neither of three talents helps us in any way. 
Third tier comes down to personal preference. I find Death's Advance to be the most useful talent here but some people might end up choosing Chilblains because of its slow that is really good for banana throwers or Asphyxiate because stuns can come in handy in proving grounds.  
Fourth tier is irrelevant., same as the second one 
For the fifth tier, you could either go for Runic Empowerment or for Blood Tap which is superior. The thing is, the latter must be managed while the Runic Empowerment procs on its own and thus requires no usage whatsoever. Why is blood tap superior? - you might ask. Well, first of all it allows you to use your Obliterate at the exact time that you should use it (can't stress how important that is because of the Killing Machine procs). Second of all, you can get 12 stacks of blood tap and save them for the next, more challenging wave that is more problematic for death knights. This helps A LOT.
Now, for the last tier, Gorefiend's Grasp and Remorseless Winter could both prove useful in certain situations but Desecrated Ground renders them far less superior because of its immunity against Amber Weaver's Amber Globule.
2.3 As far as glyph choices are concerned, you'll want to pick up the following: http://ptr.wowhead.com/spell=146645 and http://ptr.wowhead.com/spell=146648. These two are undeniably best - soul reaper is an amazing skill that you should use A LOT in proving grounds, and 30% bonus movement speed is great. For the latter glyph, you won't be taking any damage in proving grounds thus this is basically an equivalent of a cooldown reduction; AMS prevents Amber Globule's stun so yeah, kind of an obvious choice. 
As for the third glyph, there are two possible variants. You could either go for Glyph of Icebound Fortitude or for Glyph of the Loud Horn,  the latter being nothing more than a dps increase. Glyph of Icebound Fortitude allows you to break Amber Globule's effect more often (but if you are good at avoiding it, ignore it).

Minor glyphs have no use whatsoever, Glyph of Resilient Grip being the only exception*.

* - for challenge modes, you should pick Glyph of Resilient Grip along with Glyph of Path of Frost and Glyph of Tranquil Grip. The last two might have some uses in challenge modes.

3. Stat Priority
Expertise (7.5%+) >= Melee Hit (7.5%) > Strength > Crit Haste > Mastery

For most optimal results, you should check the stat priority yourself with the use of simcraft;

In order to sim your character, use the Import button and paste your armory link into simcraft's built-in browser. After doing so, go to Options > Scaling and make sure that all your stats of interest are chosen. Now go to Simulate, press the "Simulate!" button in the bottom right corner and simply await your results.

Simcraft allows you to scale your gear down to a challenge mode/proving grounds level (any item level you wear on your character will get scaled down to 463). You can do that by going to Options > Globals and enabling "Challenge Mode" option.
You'll want to balance your crit and haste, either might end up being superior to the other, depending on your gear.
For challenge modes, haste and mastery are going to be the best stats, crit being last (even for 2h, actually dw might be better for CM rendering mastery superior to both haste and crit thus alternating the below BiS list a bit).
4. Best in Slot (Gems & Enchants included)
Obviously any LFR item is as good as its heroic warforged/thunderforged counterpart.
Slot Item Gemming   Enchant
Head Helm of the Night Watchman 1 x Reverberating Primal Diamond, 1 x Bold Primordial Ruby   None
Neck Amulet of the Primal Turtle 1 x Etched Imperial Amethyst   None
Shoulders Tusks of Mannoroth 3 x Bold Primordial Ruby   Greater Tiger Fang Inscription
Back Yellow Dawn Lightningcloak
or >
Gong-Lu, Strength of Xuen
1 x Inscribed Vermilion Onyx
or for the legendary back:
1 x Bold Primordial Ruby
  Enchant Cloak - Superior Critical Strike
Chest Carapace of the Core
or >
Chestplate of Congealed Corrosion
 3 x Bold Primordial Ruby
1 x Bold Primordial Ruby, 1 x Inscribed Vermilion Onyx,
1 x Etched Imperial Amethyst
  Enchant Chest - Glorious Stats
Wrists Caustic Spike Bracers
  • ...Random enchantment 5 (18.7% chance)
    +712 Critical Strike
1 x Inscribed Vermilion Onyx   Enchant Bracer - Exceptional Strength
Hands Tar-Coated Gauntlets 1 x Bold Primordial Ruby, 1 x Inscribed Vermilion Onyx    Enchant Gloves - Super Strength
Waist Avenger's Trillium Waistplate 3 x Bold Primordial Ruby   Living Steel Belt Buckle
Legs Legplates of the Lightning Throne 1 x Bold Primordial Ruby, 2 x Inscribed Vermilion Onyx   Angerhide Leg Armor
Feet Haunted Steel Treads
or =
Haunted Steel Warboots
2 x Bold Primordial Ruby   Enchant Boots - Pandaren's Step
Ring Seal of the Forgotten Kings 1 x Bold Primordial Ruby   None
Ring Band of the Scaled Tyrant
or =
Asgorathian Blood Seal
1 x Bold Primordial Ruby   None
Trinket Relic of Xuen None   None
Trinket Skullrender Medallion/
Helmbreaker Medallion
None   None
Main Hand Hellscream's Decapitator 2 x Bold Primordial Ruby   Rune of the Fallen Crusader
Some of the items might prove hard to get hence the following list, with other viable items:
Shoulders (these might be especially hard to obtain given that shoulders from the above BiS list are an extremely rare, 0.01% drop from normal/heroic-only Garrosh): Rossi's Rosin-Soaked ShoulderplatesSpaulders of the Fallen WarchiefDarkfallen ShoulderplatesPauldrons of Cyclopean Dread (dobule red socket makes this set piece really desirable for proving groudns).
Proc trinkets with shorter cooldown are better than ones with better proc but longer cooldown.
Keep in mind that Relic of Xuen has no parallel, every other trinket pales in comparison to it. As for the second trinket slot, what makes the dominance offensive reputation so good is its on use effect - it is better to be in control of your procs rather then to rely on them. 
Weapon (if for some reason you were unlucky with your garrosh heirloom drops, here are some alternatives though heirloom 2h is a beast because of its insane socket bonus of +120 strength)Uroe, Harbinger of Terror comes 2nd only to the heirloom weapon and you should totally go for it if you possess Eye of the Black Prince. Yes, it does indeed work for both challenge modes and proving grounds. 
Most of the time, you'll want to enchant your items the following way:
Yellow socket: Inscribed Vermilion Onyx or Fierce Vermilion Onyx (depends what is your current crit rating and haste, you will have to find out with the use of simcraft, what is the best stat for your gear, crit or haste). 
Sometimes it might be worth it to simply go for the red gems and ignore the socket bonus (depends what the socket bonus is and how many sockets the item has).
For most optimal results use an addon such as reforgelite - you are not a machine and min maxing reforging can get rather complex and overwhelming. 
Reforging can sometimes bug out so be sure to check your respective hit and expertise ratings upon entering proving grounds.


6.1 Tips;

- In proving grounds, none of the mobs deal damage so all your survival abilities are utterly useless (AMS and Icebound Fortitude can still come in very handy because of their additional effects).

- Remember that in proving grounds all mobs can parry and dodge your attacks, positioning is essential.

- All buffs are provided for, but you should still bring your own food and flasks as they both work in proving grounds (1300 strength is A LOT).

- You need to utilize Amber Globules spawned by the Amber-Weavers. Upon hitting the target, Amber Globule instantly stuns it and increases its damage taken by 50%! Be sure to make best possible use of this insane damage increase.

- Multi-dotting is extremely powerful (especially during the varmint wave). HOWLING BLA...RGH!

- Utilize your Death Grip ability against targets such as Banshees or Illusionary Banana-Tossers.
- You should place your Death and Decay about 5 second before the actual wave starts for a small damage increase (and free runic power for that matter). Same goes for Horn of Winter though you should use it the very same second that mobs spawn because it requires no runes whatsoever.

- Remember to use your AMS if Amber Globule is about to hit you. If you get hit by it, use your Icebound Fortitude to get out of it ASAP (Amber Globule is a stun, so yeah, IF also renders you immune to it, same as AMS).

- Don't be afraid to use your pillar of frost at the very start of the wave - each wave last about a minute which is the equivalent of PoF's cooldown.

- Be sure to refresh your flask and food if it is about to expire (best time for doing this is shorly after killing sha, during the 10th, 20th, 30th+ wave).

6.2 Waves; 

        You should have no problem whatsoever with waves 1, 3, 6 (hence 11, 13, 16 and so on).

        Waves that might be more challenging: 2, 4, 7, 9.

        The most difficult waves: 5, 8, 10.

Wave 1, 11, 21, 31 and so on: Extremely easy, just kite the amber globules and you should be fine. Use death and decay along with howling blast on the small adds in the middle, switch to 3 Amber-Weavers and after killing them finish off the remaining adds. Feel free to use your howling blast on the adds when running to next Amber-Weaver.

Wave 2: Use your Pillar of Frost ability at the very start, as for the kill order: Mystic > Guardians > Amber Weaver (remember about the banshee spawn at 00:30).

Wave 3: Easiest of all the waves, use dnd and focus one of the two banana tossers, using howling blast so that it hits as many mobs as possible. Kill the tosser and grip the other one. Use HB again so that it hits all the mobs, kill him and then finish off any remaining mobs.

Wave 4: Use your Pillar of Frost, ghoul might come in handy if you want to save the berserk buff. Kite the amber globules into guardians, Amber Weaver should be your last target (remember about the banshee spawn at 00:30).

Wave 5: You might want to use your berserk here but it is better to save it and use the empower rune weapon ability instead (if you want to use the berserk buff, do not use it immediately but when the wave timer hits 00:30 so you get most of it). Kill the banana tosser first, if you are not quick enough, use your Strangulate ability on the mystic to interrupt his heal. After both the mystic and the banana tosser are down, switch to sha. Use your cooldowns after sha's damage reduction bubble expires.

Wave 6: Another AoE wave, easy-peasy. Use your howling blast along with dnd on the small adds and switch to one of the mystics. Interrupt his heal and don't even bother about second one, he will try to heal one of the small adds which is totally irrelevant. After killing the first mystic, use your howling blast on the adds while running to the second one, kill the second mystic and then finish off any remaining adds. Don't even think of using berserk buff during this wave, it would be such a MASSIVE waste.

Wave 7: Go for one of the guardians first, kill him quickly, go for another one and after getting close to him use your death grip on the banana tosser so that it gets hit by the Amber Globule. Alternatively you can focus down the banana tosser first and then go for the guardians, the choice is yours. Obviously, two Amber Weavers are your least priority targets.

Wave 8: One of the more challenging waves because of the 3 banshee spawns (00:25, 00:30 and 00:45), have some runes/blood tap stacks ready for 'em. When the wave starts, go for the mystic in the middle.

Wave 9: Kill the banana tosser first, then go for the slayers. If guardian is struck by the globule, switch to him. Amber Weaver should be your last target.

Wave 10: Start dpsing the illusionary sha, use your army of the dead when the wave timer hits 00:40. When the wave timer hits 00:30, get the berserk buff from wave 4 or 6. Have 12 stacks of blood tap and all runes ready for the moment when the damage reduction shield goes down. http://www.wowhead.com/spell=47568 is really helpful during these last few seconds.

6.3 Useful macros;

Here are some very basic macros that you might find useful (just replace them with your appropriate abilities):
/target Illusionary Mystic
/cast Mind Freeze 
/target Illusionary Mystic
/cast Strangulate  
/target Illusionary Banana-Tosser
/cast Death Grip 
/target Illusionary Banshee
/cast Death Grip 
/cast Pillar of Frost
/use Skullrender Medallion (for Alliance change it to Helmbreaker medallion)

If you have any questions concerning this guide, feel free to ask them in the comments below.

Edited by MysticalOS, 27 March 2014 - 05:16 PM.

Going to play Crusader on HARDCORE, 48 hour long

marathon upon the release of RoS!


#2 MysticalOS


    French Hacker

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Posted 14 March 2014 - 05:23 PM

I re-imported it using the HTML code to make it look much better, formatting wise. Pretty much identical to your original formatting now.

#3 Devizz


    Glass Joe

  • • Former Guide Author/Contributor
  • 10 posts

Posted 15 March 2014 - 01:35 AM

I re-imported it using the HTML code to make it look much better, formatting wise. Pretty much identical to your original formatting now.


Thank you! ;)

Going to play Crusader on HARDCORE, 48 hour long

marathon upon the release of RoS!


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